Meet the Pacific
The Noroeste Biosphere Reserve has recently extended its boundaries. It was created under this name in 1977, covering the current area of Cerros de Amotape National Park, the Tumbes National Reserve, and the The Angolo Hunting Reserve. Recently, in March 2016, the National Sanctuary Manglares de Tumbes was added, which motived a changed of name by the UNESCO to the Noroeste Amotapes-Manglares Biosphere Reserve. The aims of this reserve are to preserve the wildlife of the dry forest, tropical rainforest, and the fragile mangroves. The Pacific Forest has plant and animal species representative of the forests from Central America and the Amazon, and t is unique in the western slope of the Peruvian Andes. In addition, it has been internationally recognized as an Endemic Bird Area (EBA Tumbesino) and t is seriously threatened by fragmentation and habitat loss, selective logging, poaching, and intensive livestock.
The project “Meet the Pacific tropical forest” has as main objective to study the birds and mammal diversity with the purpose to raise awareness about the biological and eco-touristic richness of this area. We will study bird and mammal diversity using different methods. Birds diversity will be evaluated using transects, point counts, and playbacks. These methods will also help us identify suitable areas for birdwatching. The mammal community will be evaluated combining different techniques such as live trapping for rodents and marsupials, mist nets and echolocation for bats, and camera traps for medium to large-sized mammals. The camera trap photographs will be used to design educational material and informative posters for the field office of the protected areas of the Biosphere Reserve and will be distributed among local people.
Another objective of this project, the biggest one, is the construction of an interpretation center in the buffer zone of Cerros de Amotape National Park. This place will be built with the support of local communities, volunteers, and researchers; and will be maintained for research and eco-touristic activities. Research activities and educational programs held at the interpretation center will help create awareness in local people and tourists about dry forest conservation, and increase community involvement.
Among the large mammals that would benefit indirectly with this project are the puma, red brocket, ocelot, the howler monkey, among others. Likewise, in the case of birds, the grey-backed hawk, grey-cheeked parakeet, little woodstar, among others will also benefit from this project.